Navigation Center Site
6494 Caballero Blvd. | Buena Park | CA 90620
Navigation Center Contact Information:
Front Desk - ext. 280
Call Center - ext. 281
Site Lead Desk - ext. 282
Manager - ext. 168
Have you seen or know of someone in need? Contact:
City Net Homeless Services
Buena Park Police (Non-emergency)
The North Orange County Service Planning Area (North SPA) received $12,062,300 in Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding to open a Navigation Center in Buena Park and Placentia. The Buena Park site, or "Navigation Center", is at 6494 Caballero Blvd.
For more information on the County's Service Planning Area's (SPA)
Questions & Answers
1. What is the Buena Park Navigation Center?
The Buena Park Navigation Center ("Center") is a temporary homeless shelter facility at 6494 Caballero Boulevard. The City has owned the site for over 40 years. The 2.14-acre site had a municipal water well towards the back and storage and a fire training tower towards the front. An approximate 15,000 square-foot portion towards the front of the site is now transformed into the shelter, offering 150 beds in addition to office, class, medical, outdoor and meeting spaces.
The facility will serve as transitional housing for those living on the streets in Buena Park and provide a stable setting with healthcare and other services. The long-term goal is to provide clients with the resources they need to permanently transition off the streets.
2. Why do we need a Navigation Center?
The Buena Park Navigation Center (“Center”) is one of two new centers to serve the North Orange County Service Planning Area (North SPA). The North SPA is comprised of the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Orange, Placentia, Villa Park, Stanton and Yorba Linda.
By identifying these two new centers, the City of Buena Park and the North SPA cities will comply with the federal mandate of the Honorable David O. Carter, United States District Court Judge, resolving what is known as the Orange County Catholic Worker lawsuit, which carried the risk of cities losing the ability to enforce against anti-camping laws if additional shelters or alternative housing were not provided.
The Center, along with the site in the City of Placentia and two sites in the City of Anaheim, addresses a comprehensive regional solution in North Orange County to provide support to homeless neighbors, including needed services. It also addresses the growing impacts of homelessness on city parks, streets, and neighborhoods by ensuring that anti-camping laws can be enforced.
3. How is the Center funded?
In November 2018, the North SPA was awarded $12,062,300 in Homeless Emergency Aid Program (“HEAP”) funding from the State of California via the Orange County Continuum of Care Board. This funding is designed to provide direct assistance to cities and counties to address homelessness. The Center will be funded with $6,412,300 of the HEAP grant funds, as well as additional funding from the participating North SPA cities and grant funds.
4. Is there a guaranteed revenue stream and staffing plan included in the MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding)?
With respect to funding, staff anticipates the City would pay a small percentage of ongoing operating costs. As proposed, Senate Bill 2 (SB-2) funds will pay approximately 41.6% of operating costs, the County will pay approximately 54.7%, and the cities comprising the North Spa paying the remaining 3.7%. Of the portion to be paid by North Spa cities, Buena Park will be responsible for approximately 12.69% (approximately $150,000.) Low-mod housing funds would be available such that there wouldn’t necessarily be an impact to the General Fund. Please note that these figures are estimates at this time, and subject to adjustment; but the formula for allocating these costs among the parties will be memorialized in the North SPA Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), and applied throughout the term of the MOU.
5. What oversight is there for how the funds are spent?
Funding and expenditures will be subject to several layers of oversight. The SB-2 funds and funds contributed by the County will be subject to grant reporting, reconciliation, and auditing from outside agencies. Funds contributed by individual cities will be approved by their respective city councils as part of their annual budget process, and the City Managers of the North SPA cities must approve revisions to the program budget. Moreover, all revenues and expenditures of the program will be subject to an annual audit prepared by a licensed professional in accordance with government auditing standards.
6. Who can use the shelter?
The beds at this location are designated for North SPA cities only, but "host cities" (including Buena Park) have priority. The center will only receive clients on a referral-basis; walk-ins are not permitted.
7. Who manages the Center?
The City has selected Mercy House as the operator for this facility.
8. What would the average length of stay for an individual be at the shelter while looking for available housing?
Based on discussions with Mercy House regarding their current operations at similar facilities, the average length of stay is 79 days. The projections for available housing to facilitate their transfer continually fluctuate. However, Mercy House and their affiliates have strong ties to permanent supportive housing within the region.
9. How will individuals with mental health concerns be treated?
The County of Orange offers a system of care for these individuals and those with mental health issues will be linked to those resources.
10. Will volunteers be allowed at the shelter?
The City will retain an operator to run the shelter. The operator will determine the need for volunteers after the shelter has opened.
11. If the shelter is full and running at capacity, are the police still able to enforce the anti-camping laws?
Yes, if the proposed Buena Park shelter is at capacity, the police will locate a bed available in another North SPA shelter for that individual.
12. How are individuals referred to a shelter? Who is eligible?
Referrals to the shelter are typically made by the homeless liaison officers in the Police Department or the street outreach team led by personnel with CityNet and the County of Orange.
13. What happens to those that don’t want to go to the Center? Will laws be enforced?
Anti-camping laws can be enforced when there is an available bed in the area for those in need.